Compared to a road-hugging racer, the full-suspension mountain bike is a complicated and constantly-evolving combination of geometries and genres. Volumes could be filled with the variations on angles and pivot points experimented with over the years, but the French workshop of Caminade has just pushed the envelope somewhat to the left.
Caminade consists of a few passionate guys based in Ille-sur-Têt, a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales département in southern France. While Caminade manufactures a range of handmade frames for all requirements, from townies to fast race bikes, they’re personally focused on the off-road.
Geoffrey Buisan is one of the newest members of the Caminade team. Another engineer, he comes from a downhill and enduro background, and already had ideas for a French-made full-springer frame when he joined in February.
Caminade’s lineup is built from a balanced mix of steel and titanium, and while we’ve seen a few new handmade steel duallies making appearances around here, their new ChillEasy is the first we’ve seen to be made from titanium.
The famous Raid de la Garoutade is located just near their workshop, a 60km ride with 2500m of elevation. The layout of the ChillEasy was inspired by the Garoutade, as well as the Yellow Train DH run — around 1500m of descent, and finally the trails of the Les Angles Bike Park.
The ChillEasy turned into quite an incredible design. Most noticeably, the rear Ohlins suspension was shifted to the left of the frame. Titanium isn’t the most rigid of frame materials, but Caminade remedied this with a 30mm pivot point, around which two sets of crankcase bearings pivot, one each for the front and rear triangles.
Including the Super Boost Plus standard, the bottom bracket ends up with an effective width of 104.5mm, which will also add to the general stability — especially after 60kms of descent. Nevermind, the guys thoughtfully welded a bottle opener under the bottom bracket for refreshments.
While the ChillEasy’s design may be confronting, its marketing and development certainly aren’t. Caminade shared the entire development of the project on their website and will continue to do so past the launch. We think it’s a winner, what about you?
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